From an East African orphanage to a New York girls club, this model's acing philanthropy.
True
Maybelline New York Beauty & Beyond

When model Herieth Paul describes her stunning hometown of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, it's almost as if she's describing a dreamland.

"It's literally the most beautiful place in the world," she says, with a huge smile. "It's so warm and the air is so crisp and it smells like — do you know the smell after it rains? … The sun rays just kiss my skin. And the ocean water is so clear; it's so blue."

But then again, so much of her life sounds like a dream. At the age of 22, she's an "It girl" who's in high demand in the fashion industry.


She travels the world for fashion shows and models for industry icons including Calvin Klein, Roberto Cavalli, and Tom Ford. She has also quickly earned comparisons to the likes of superstars Grace Jones and Naomi Campbell.  Her signature hairstyle, a short afro, helps her embrace her natural beauty, rather than feeling like she's pretending to be someone else.

And that's a powerful feeling, since Herieth never wants to forget about Tanzania and the people there who helped her become the person she is today.

Herieth Paul in New York City. Image via Upworthy.

"Is this a dream? I still can't believe it," she gushes, regarding her blossoming career.

In fact, when she turned 18, Herieth accomplished one of her biggest modeling goals.

"I've always wanted to be a Maybelline girl," she says. She even remembers writing "Maybelline" on a piece of paper and putting it on the wall of her very first New York apartment before she had any other artwork.

So she could hardly believe it when her modeling agency told her the good news: Maybelline had asked her to be their spokesmodel.

But now that she's in the spotlight, Herieth wants to use her success to help other girls reach their goals.

Growing up as a shy girl in East Africa, she never expected to grace the pages of the world's magazines, but she always knew that she'd want to help lift up her community in any way she could. That's because it's not only the gorgeous scenery that makes her love where she came from — it's also the people of Tanzania, who inspire her to give back.

For example, her mother helps run a Tanzanian orphanage, Sachia Society, where Herieth volunteered as a young girl. It was an activity that helped teach her the value of compassion.

"I've learned to respect others," she explains. "Just being able to say … you come from a different upbringing but, you know, we can still get along, can still be friends."

And it was this compassion that ultimately inspired her to give back to people who don't have opportunities like the ones she had.

After all, Herieth knows she wouldn't be where she is today without a little luck and other people's helping hands. At 14, her mom signed her up to audition for a Canadian acting and modeling agency, which Herieth hoped would help her become an actress like the kids she saw on the Disney Channel.

Because she was shy, soft-spoken, and not yet fluent in English, she stumbled through her audition. Fortunately, the agency still saw her potential and gave her a chance to model instead of act.

Before that, she says, "I never thought modeling was an option."

Image via Upworthy.

That's why, throughout her entire career, she has continued to support the Tanzanian children back at Sachia Society in order to hopefully open doors for them and expand their horizons through education. She sends money from each of her paychecks to help them pay for things like electricity, food, and books.

"The amount of joy it brings the girls and the boys at the orphanage — it's better than anything you can imagine," she says. "The feeling of being able to give back to my own people in my own country just makes me feel so happy."

In addition to her philanthropic work back in Tanzania, Herieth also shows up for kids in New York City.

She helps mentor girls with the Lower East Side Girls Club, an organization that offers young women free programs in leadership, entrepreneurship, arts and sciences, and more.

"There's so much to be said about being a support system," she says.

Herieth volunteering at Lower East Side Girls Club. Image via Upworthy.

She loves the chance to ask the girls how they're doing so they know that somebody cares, and she likes encouraging them to believe in themselves just as much as she believes in them.

After all, if she hadn't believed in herself, the shy girl from Tanzania wouldn't have become the role model she is today.

Herieth believes everyone deserves to celebrate their own unique beauty.

She glows from the inside out as she discusses what it takes to believe in yourself in spite of the obstacles in front of you.

Image via Upworthy.

"Every time I feel like I have low self-esteem, I try to think, you're here for a reason and you're meant to be here," she says. And that's exactly the message she wants to pass on.

Perhaps growing up in a place that seems like a dreamland helped her realize that children's beautiful dreams can become reality.  

"I see beauty everywhere," she says. "Every time I travel … I see beautiful people, but not because of how they look, but with their hearts and their beautiful minds. I feel like beauty is just the energy that you give out into the world."

For more on Herieth's work giving back to others, check out this video:

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Upworthy article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less
via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

"We couldn't decide on who would be the biological father," Simon told The Daily Mail. "Graeme said it should be me, but I said that he had just as much right as I did."

Keep Reading Show less
True

*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

Keep Reading Show less